BAMS – Medal project – Design problems

One of my main dilemmas with the design of these medals, and one that I have had feedback on repeatedly, is the issue of them not showing a “natural gesture”. While I don’t necessarily agree that the gesture itself (stroking of fingers) isn’t natural, as it is something that I have done on many occasions, I can see that it not well conveyed in the design itself and that people struggle to understand what I am trying to represent. In order to try and improve this, I have spent some time handing and touching the wax versions of the medals, and documenting my response of touch through sketches.

imprint sketch 1

imprint sketch 2

imprint sketchThese marks represent the trace of my fingers as I ran them across the surface of the cast fingers, the direction and movements of my touch upon the skin. The difficult part of this is now trying to choose a pattern, and to duplicate it into setting plaster, as I have found that is so far the best way I can find of capturing this sort of gesture. As well as this, there is still the ever present issue of capturing the “male touch”, using my friend Ambrose who is the male hand of the medals. While I am fairly clear on what I am trying to achieve, I am aware that he is not, and I feel like it would be reductive to simply draw or pick out one of these patterns and to tell him to replicate it, as I want them to be representative of his gesture rather than one I have chosen for him.

I am also still acutely aware that these designs do not overcome the problems I mentioned earlier, with the message of the medals being unclear to the viewer. While I myself am not entirely happy with the design, and feel that it is not as strong a representation of what I feel is a strong concept as it could be, I am also acutely aware of the matter of time. Having not yet even started solidly working on the actual production of the medals themselves yet, which is sure to be a long process, and with various other projects alongside this still to work on, as well as another field module due to begin next term, I feel like I no longer have time to be working on designs and need to get on with the matter of making, otherwise I will not have a finished product by the end of the year. I think that in order to get the design to a point where I am happy with it, and it does not have any of the inherent problems it does now, I would have to completely go back to the drawing board and start from scratch, rather than trying to tweak and change the design I have already, and I simply do not think this is feasible at this point. Because of this, I feel the best choice is for me to press on with a design which I may not be entirely happy with, but to make it as strong as possible, and I feel it at least to some degree captures what I am trying to express.

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One Comment on “BAMS – Medal project – Design problems”

  1. […] trying to express. One of my main problems when designing the medals themselves was the issue of trying to capture that gesture of touch, and especially when relying on another person to make the imprint (Ambrose’s imprint on the […]


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